Blog 2.0 - What I Did and How I Did It

It is an indisputable fact [1] that there are 152 million blogs on the internet. Even if one assumes that 95% of these blogs are abandoned, that still leaves a healthy 7.6 million active bloggy destinations.

There is always someone with better ideas. There is always someone with more correct instructions on how to get MySQL to do what you want it to do. There is always someone more entertaining. In fact, there is probably even someone so good at footnotes that it makes you want to avoid using them out of sheer inadequacy [2].

So why blog? Why now, after intensely focusing on not blogging for about as long as this blog has existed?

I don’t do much writing anymore. I certainly do plenty of typing, some of which actually involves communicating by stringing together combinations of English words in a passably intelligible fashion. But the majority of this communication occurs in short IRC/AIM bursts, and actually writing demands practice that I haven’t been getting.

My loose goal for Blog 2.0 is to write frequently and to generally try to keep to the theme of “What I Did and How I Did It” [3]. While Stack Overflow is a great resource for targeted programming questions, I’ve found random blogs to be the most reliable source of “How To” manuals for various tasks and problems. Code documentation is almost invariably written by people too close to the actual code [4], and sometimes the thrilling blogged account of how someone actually got the darn thing to work is essential. Thus, there is a small possibility that accounts of how I got something to work will prove useful. But that is not the only motivation.

It can be easy to gloss over small things that aren’t completely understood when there are no obvious negative side effects. That line of code you don’t really grok might just remain ungrokked. I generally walk away with a much greater understanding of how something works after I’ve been forced to explain it to someone else. Writing about What I Did and How I Did It promotes that higher level of understanding. As an added benefit, the internet is crawling with people who are dying to tell you why you are wrong. I’m eager to know why I’m wrong [5].

Naturally, my desire to actually legitimately try to blog was blocked by my compelling need to update this bit-rotting site’s theme. So that’s What I Did.

(psst … you should follow me on Twitter) [6]

footnotes

[1] Where we define “fact” as “a statistic published within the last month that was in the first page of google search results” (see here)

[2] Luckily, that has never stopped me from doing anything.

[3] This carries an implicit goal of “DO THINGS”.

[4] Blogging also appears to be a good outlet for expressing correct opinions.

[5] To clarify, I’m generally only interested in knowing when I’m technically wrong. My opinions tend to be indisputably correct.

[6] I feel less self-conscious about self-promotion when I do things like provide footnotes detailing my general feelings of self-consciousness about self-promotion.